Graphics:
9.0
Gameplay:
8.8
Sound:
9.2
Control:
9.0
Replay Value:
8.9
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer:
thatgamecompany
Number Of Players:
1-2 Players
Genre:
Action/Puzzle


We at PSXE are psychic. Really. We can read your minds. The very first question all of you are going to ask is, quite simply, "what is this game about?" Well, for about five minutes, we weren’t quite sure how to answer. We controlled this flower petal in the air, all the time asking, “okay, soooo…” But then, our petal touched an unopened bud, the flower sprang to life, another petal fell in behind the original, and in all manly honesty, the smile was irrepressible. We will elaborate on this in due time, of course, but for now, let’s just say that we’ll probably end up recommending anything thatgamecompany does in the future; if they’re capable of flOw and Flower , they’re not likely to let us down any time soon. Furthermore, they’re really helping the PSN shine, because it’s titles like these that will make gamers all the more likely to log onto the Store. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, Flower is well worth the $9.99 price of admission, if only to infuse your television with a healthy dose of beauty.

You know, there’s a reason we examine things like graphics and sound separate from the gameplay, but in this particular case, it might make more sense to toss everything together. See, the graphics and sound factor into the gameplay more so than most any other game we’ve ever played, and that’s a testament to the entire package. However, we can start off by telling you that Flower is both vivid and colorful; it’s a gorgeous presentation that becomes all the more alluring when you realize that you will control the impending explosion of reds, whites, blues, purples, pinks, and of course, greens. And if you consider the fact that each blossoming flower contributes to the background soundtrack, you will quickly recognize the need to address everything together in one complete analysis. But perhaps you’re still dying for an answer to the aforementioned question, and if this is going to retain any semblance of a normal review, we should definitely oblige you.

You really may be confused when you first start. Just accept the possibility. …er, or you could just read this review. You will first be presented with a potted plant on a windowsill, in what appears to be a small city apartment. You tilt the controller to hover over the unopened flower, “hold any button,” and after getting a glimpse of the dark grays and blacks of the inner city, you are taken to a pristine field in the middle of nowhere. Yes, developers, we caught the contrast between the artistic implementation of the city and the field where we’ll be spending our time, so…you know, kudos to both of us, I guess. Anyway, in the middle of this field, you will see a single flower that has yet to bloom. You press X, and a petal pops free and begins to float on the breeze. You may not realize it immediately, but you can control this petal because – wait for it – you are the wind . That’s right, your “character” in this particular game is the wind, and thatgamecompany’s ingenious plan to make said “character” visible is to allow the petal trail to signify the wind flow.  Or, maybe you're just the individual petals and you go with the wind.  It's hard to tell.

You will obtain these petals in your colorful train by opening new flowers, and all you need to do is guide the wind over unopened buds. You will do this using the motion sensitivity of the controller, so provided you have a steady set of hands, this won’t be a challenge. It will, however, be absolutely fascinating. You need to open a certain number of flowers in order to fully restore life to the surrounding landscape; you can see the “unbloomed” flowers from afar because they have a small halo around them. As an added bonus, each flower emits a particular sound, be it a wind chime or the strike of a crystal chord of sorts. This enhances the already fitting orchestral soundtrack that flows along with your movements, and sometimes, you’ll find yourself wanting to open flowers in rhythm. It’s hard to do, but it’s all part of the appeal. If you’re looking for a way to relax, this could be the ultimate “leisure-based” title for everyone who needs to let the stress melt away after a long day at work. It’s a very different experience than getting your frustration out by blowing crap up…in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

As for the setting, each field and area is good-sized but not huge. The entire landscape isn’t open at first: you must open up certain key flowers in order for more areas to become available. As you progress, once-dead patches of grass will spring to life, boulders will fall, and even trees will return to full vitality. Once the last piece of nature has enjoyed its splendid resurrection, the little quest is over, and you are returned to the windowsill in that apartment. There, the flower in the pot blooms, and you get the option of trying another flower. It’s as simple as simple can be, and there really isn’t much more to explain. Now, our gripes are minor but they need to be mentioned- firstly, we sometimes couldn’t see too well through the throng of petals, even when the camera automatically shifted so the delicate train was to our left or right, and not in the center of your view. We also thought some of the levels could’ve been a little larger, and in all honesty, you spend a little too much time on the ground. With all the beauty there is to see up high, it was a little disappointing.

Basically, all you really do is swoop around, opening up flowers so life can completely return to this miniature world that apparently exists inside a single flower in a small city apartment. There’s nothing else. But there really doesn’t need to be: the experience is almost indescribable, and even if you’re not a big fan of motion sensing (and we’re not), you will smile throughout your experience. You may not even realize the smile is there, but you might notice if you play long enough…and trust us, this game can hold your attention. It’s just so captivating. It’s like playing a painting; restoring life to a drab picture with the small movement of your wrists. And that, without any shadow of a doubt, is both an excellent achievement and a nod to artistic creativity in an ever-burgeoning industry. Flower is…well…flowerful!

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EddPm6
EddPm6
12 years ago

reminds me of the PS3 unvieling. the presentation where they had like 98347973456437 leaves and the guy was showing off how each leaf had its own audio that was blended with the other 98347973456436 leaves.

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
12 years ago

Bought this game today; worth every penny. I must say it really is calming, at one point i realized that i had STOPPED THINKING :O

keaton
keaton
12 years ago

lol well if that's the case i may need to be spending a lot of time on this game, chemistry at wvu is killin me right now with all this hw

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Done deal. I'm getting this game.

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Btw, what's the 2 player like?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I'm sorry, I wanted to get this up and I didn't get the chance to try.

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

That's cool. 9.99 for a 9.0 single player is reason enough. Thank you for the review.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
12 years ago

It looked interesting, after the Burnout update I'm downloading I'll have to try it out. This update may take a while though, I might have to get this game tomorrow. On a side note, is this game 2 player split screen or online? Or both?

souljah92
souljah92
12 years ago

This game is awesome an something completely new from anything i've ever seen before, i love the colours and i will be honest with you guys…..i am a very easily pissed off gamer (i punched a hole in my closet door while playing super-rub-a-dub….), but this game is really calming and soothing, takes all that anger away =]

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

LOL!

Daedusian
Daedusian
12 years ago

This game seems to be doing really well, as it should be. tgc really do have some creative minds and it definitely shows. Can't possibly imagine what they'll do next..

Qubex
Qubex
12 years ago

I will try to pick up this game this evening… looking forward to it!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

dveisalive
dveisalive
12 years ago

This game is very atmospheric, calm and it is like my dream I onced had before I swear! Anyways there should be more games like this!

Morals
Morals
12 years ago

AHH I NEED TO GO TO THE NEAREST 7-11 TO BUY A PSN 20 DOLLAR CARD JUST TO BUY THIS AND FINGERS CROSSED THAT THE OTHER 10 GO TO A KILLZONE 2 PREMIUM DLC

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
12 years ago

I'm gonna have to try this out. Is there a demo? The Joystiq review really gave it high praise too.

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
12 years ago

Just wanted to say that this is a great review Ben! I will definitely be checking this one out. Keep up all the outstanding work as I can imagine that you have been very busy! 🙂

coverton341
coverton341
12 years ago

Ben you are a master at your craft sir. I must say you painted a picture that is pulling the money right out of my wallet but that's ok. I will be gone for the weekend and into Monday because of some grievous happenings with my fiancé's family and when I get back this will be played for extended amounts of time to get my mind in a better place than it will be.

This game, the way you portray it, sounds like listening to a combination of Gackt and L'Arc~En~Ciel and that sir is a beautiful thing for me.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Thanks everyone. Used it as an excuse to flex just a small amount of creative writing muscle.

I'm a little out of practice, though. 🙁

fundando
fundando
12 years ago

Good times, thanks for the review. I was gonna get this one either way.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

You know, this is very ps1-ish, and that's a great thing.

Reminds me of the experimentation that went on when 3D invaded v-games. Reminds me a lot of Intelligent cube, hehe loved that game if only for its immersiveness and I don't know just felt cool.

dlte
dlte
12 years ago

love this game.

xnonsuchx
xnonsuchx
12 years ago

So EDGE will be giving this a 9-10 rating since it's "innovative," right? 😉

dlte
dlte
12 years ago

who cares what they think?

rell
rell
12 years ago

flower is relaxing, so alluring.

PS3_Wizard
PS3_Wizard
12 years ago

How many Megabytes is the download Ben?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

628, I believe.

PS3_Wizard
PS3_Wizard
12 years ago

ok

Fabi
Fabi
12 years ago

I left this downloading last nite, and woke up playing it. Just awesome, the only thing I wish was different was the controls.

I wish it had the option to use the sticks. I've always been terrible with the Sixaxis and the Wii-mote. It just doesn't click in my brain.

It was so relaxing, and it really made me want to go out somewhere this weekend and experience some nature.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I'm with you, but for some reason, this game is the only one I've ever played that actually seems to fit the motion sensing. I've NEVER used it in anything else – always hated it – and this time…I don't know. It just seems right.

fundando
fundando
12 years ago

yeah I started playing it this morning and the motion sense just feels right for the game

dlte
dlte
12 years ago

we need to have the option of blowing on the screen

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

LOL

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
12 years ago

haha thats funny.

Yesterday i posted saying i was not sure about getting this game, little did i know even though i should have, u would be on the ball about getting a review out as usual, anyways im gonna go get it, sounds great! great review again!


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/13/2009 1:26:32 PM

Qubex
Qubex
12 years ago

I bought Flower and finished it already… an amazing experience… one of the best games I have played!!!

Q!

"i aM HoMe"

Banky A
Banky A
12 years ago

I need this game.
For a game with this kind of atmosphere it doesn't cost much at all.

What are the Trophies like? Hah.

😉

Totalz
Totalz
12 years ago

I downloaded this game yesterday and started playing it after a hectic bout of COD5, and it is truly brilliant.

Best use of sixaxis IMO to date, and it's really cheap. It makes you feel relaxed and all fuzzy and warm inside, i genuinely felt like I was riding the wind…how queer did that just sound? lol

Totalz
Totalz
12 years ago

crap i posted that comment like seven times by accident…oops

Banky A
Banky A
12 years ago

Nice 😉
But the record is like 50.

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

LOL, no way!

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

50, you say?

Make that 51 xD

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